Bonito with mojama

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

"I love bonito for this recipe, but you could substitute mackerel or another semi-oily fish, just as long as it's super-fresh," says James Henry. You'll need a blowtorch to achieve the combination of caramelised exterior and rare flesh; it's difficult to replicate this effect with a griller.

  • 75 gm (1/3 cup) each caster sugar and sea salt
  • 1.6 kg bonito, filleted, skinned, pin bones and blood line removed, cut into 10cm lengths
  • 1 Spanish onion, quartered, petals separated
  • 400 ml buttermilk
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) ponzu
  • To serve: mojama (see note), toasted sesame oil and baby wood sorrel leaves (optional)
01   Combine sugar and salt in a bowl, scatter mixture over both sides of fish and refrigerate to cure for 3 hours.
02   Blanch onion until just tender (30 seconds), refresh and drain well. Place in a non-reactive container with buttermilk and ponzu and marinate for 1 hour.
03   Brush cure mixture from fish (discard) and transfer fish to a foil-lined oven tray. Lightly caramelise with a blowtorch and divide among serving plates.
04   Drain onion (reserve marinade), scatter onto bonito, then finely grate mojama over the top. Drizzle with a little buttermilk marinade and sesame oil, scatter with sorrel leaves and serve.

Note Mojama, dried cured tuna, is available from Spanish delicatessens.

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